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From Julian Hyde <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Patches
Date Thu, 09 Feb 2017 19:51:56 GMT
+1 to squash. Although occasionally there are exceptions: a contribution might contain multiple
features that can be broken out into separate commits, each with its own JIRA case.

Ensuring a clean, literate change history is one of the key responsibilities of committers.

+1 to avoiding merges (i.e. git commits with more than one parent).


> On Feb 9, 2017, at 10:10 AM, Josh Elser <> wrote:
> Since we're discussing it, this was the only consideration I had in moving to PR's:
> * Strongly suggest that a PR is applied as one commit (rebased by the contributor or
developer applying the change). Avoiding the word "must" because there are edge-cases where
multiple commits would be better
> * Developers must rebase a change (avoid the merge commit) so the merge is always a fast-forward
> The lineage just gets so hairy for history if we start getting a bunch of branches/merges.
This is what we've observed in PR's (at least, I have always seen this happen) -- if we are
defining policy, it might be good to also codify this :)
> Julian Hyde wrote:
>> In principle it is hard to compute the delta of a pull request, but in practice it
is easy. A well-formed pull request is a branch that is a small number of commits away from
the master branch at the time, and the pull requests that we tend to accept are well-formed.
>> Since we don’t rewrite the master branch, you can easily apply the pull request
using “git rebase”. Because git knows where where the pull request’s branch meets the
master branch, it can do a better job than “patch” could.
>> Julian
>>> On Feb 8, 2017, at 12:21 PM, Alan Gates<>  wrote:
>>> I agree that PRs are easier to manage than attaching patches to JIRA.  And now
days most contributors seem to prefer them as well.
>>> One question I have is about traceability and findability.  It is very nice for
people to be able to come to JIRA and figure out if others have had the same problem they
have, and if so if and where it's fixed, and exactly which commits they need to pick up if
they want the fix.  Can all this be achieved with just PRs?
>>> If the answer is that PRs can't achieve that, I'd still vote for moving to them.
 But I would also suggest continuing to open JIRAs that point to the PRs.
>>> Alan.
>>>> On Feb 8, 2017, at 11:33 AM, Julian Hyde<>  wrote:
>>>> Our current policy is that we accept patches attached to JIRA case and pull
requests to<>. I
would like to propose that we no longer support patches.
>>>> Why? I argue that it makes the process easier for the committer. The pull
request implicitly does “git add” and “git remove”, whereas when applying a patch
you have to remember to apply these. The pull request comes in a branch, so if I modify the
code as I am reviewing it, I can easily save and restore my state. Also, a pull request is
“valid” as a contribution, from an IP standpoint, even when not accompanied by a JIRA
>>>> Recently I went through 5 rounds of patches for a particular feature. I couldn’t
tell what had changed between one iteration of the patch and the next (you can’t “diff"
patches - you need to apply the patches to separate git branches and diff the branches - yuck!).
And I went through 3 test cycles and 24 hours before I managed to “git add” all of the
files. Yes, I did “git status” and I missed the 2 new files among all of the “.orig”
and “.rej” files in my sandbox.
>>>> In summary. I propose that we accept contributions only as pull requests
to<>. If they are
non-trivial they should be accompanied by a JIRA case. Committers can propose changes any
way they like, as long as they commit the changes themselves, but if they want to make it
easier for others to review, they should use either a personal git branch or a pull request.
>>>> Julian

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